Dec. 16, 2017
Mitch Hults scored 13:59 into the game for San Diego and the goal triggered fans to throw teddy bears and stuffed animals onto the ice at the third annual Teddy Bear Toss. All of the bears collected on the evening were cleared off the ice by the Gulls players and will be donated to the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Teddy Bear Drive to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital.
The Gulls (12-11-1-0, 25 pts.) downed the Stockton Heat by a 4-1 score, the second straight win over the Heat (14-8-1-2) who entered the night with atop the Pacific Division.
The Gulls power play led the way with three markers on the man advantage (3-of-4) to improve the league-leading power play to 26.1 percent on the season.
San Diego has won three consecutive games and now five of their last six contests (5-1-0-0). For the third straight game and sixth time this season, the Gulls erased a deficit behind goals from Hults, Eric Fehr, Kalle Kossila and an empty-net tally from Corey Tropp.
On a night that had fans waiting in anticipation to throw their bears onto the ice, it was the Heat who got on the board first when Tanner Glass threw a puck at the net from the bottom of the circle and the puck ricocheted off of Gulls goaltender Kevin Boyle and into the net.
The goal would be the only positive for Stockton as Boyle (7-6-1) stopped 28-of-29 shots in his seventh victory of the season, and improved to 4-0-0 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.
Hults’ Teddy Bear Toss goal on the power play marked his sixth tally of the season to extend his point streak to a career-high four games (2-2=4).
After one period of play the Gulls and Heat were knotted at 1-1, and a scoreless second period set up a thrilling third period for San Diego.
For the third straight game San Diego scored three third period goals to mark the first win streak of the season.
Eric Fehr scored the game-winning goal at 2:51 of the third period on the power play as the puck caromed off the end boards in front of the net and caught Heat goaltender Eddie Lack (1-1-1) behind his net as Fehr tapped in the puck into a gaping net.
Kossila followed up with another power play goal at 6:58 of the final frame that seemingly ended any hopes of a Stockton comeback. Tropp sealed the victory in the final minutes with 80 seconds on the clock as his empty-net goal marked the second point in as many games.
With two assists on the night, Nic Kerdiles earned his second multi-point game of the season and now has three assists his past two games.
1. Kalle Kossila (SD)
2. Eric Fehr (SD)
3. Mitch Hults (SD)